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  CSPAN    Capitol Hill Hearings    News/Business.  

    August 1, 2013
    1:00 - 6:00am EDT  

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session before the government needs to be refunded. we probably have 60 days or so because we need to deal with the debt issue. the president made very clear that while he was was prepared to work with our republican colleagues, he was not prepared to put at risk the credit worthiness of the united states of america. all of the caucus indicated the support of his resolve. i now want to introduce my good friend, the assistant leader, who has been very focused all his life, but particularly now, on voting rights for all of our people, jim clyburn of south carolina. >> thank you, chair, democratic leader, my colleagues. i'm going to try and sum up the president's presentation to us today in just a few words.
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i would say a better life for america's middle class. we have been hearing a lot this year about a grand bargain, how to reduce the deficit, how to pay down the debt. how we go about trying to create jobs. all of us would agree that the one constant that is without the entire stream of things has been the growing inequality that exists in our system. i saw it described a couple days ago as our country is determined with the least amount of opportunity and the most inequality in our society.
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the president was very focused on what we need to do to create jobs to pay down our debt and deficits in a way that is fair and balanced and how to create the equality of opportunity for all of our citizens. i came away from the meeting today feeling very good about our prospects going forward. i think we are poised to do with the american people would like to see us do, a better deal for working men and women. with that, i yield to the vice chair. >> thanks, jim. thanks to the leadership. the first question to us all is, what was the message of the president? one of you asked in that very question and he said -- jobs, the middle class, and growth.
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within those words, you have the essence of what the president spoke about today. you have often heard me say, i think, after we break from our caucus meeting that what our republican colleagues lack is a vision, a vision for america. they wear that lack of vision and you heard the speaker on the sunday talk shows. quite frankly, that is the republican caucus today. we would all like to see them become more functional and have a vision for america, one we may not agree with, but at least have a vision. we, as the democratic caucus, have a vision for this country and we wanted to move forward with our president. i now introduce to you the chair of the -- >> if it means anything to be a democrat, it is fighting for people who do not want to appear
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on "lifestyles of the rich and famous." they just want a job, a better job, bigger paychecks. that is who we are fighting for, who the republicans are fighting for. the 64% of voters in this, we just saw in a poll, they believe house republicans are not doing enough to compromise and move the economy forward. over one third of republicans believe house republicans are not doing enough to compromise to move the economy forward. now the president has proposed a compromise. the republicans get what they want, tax breaks for big corporations. democrats get what we want, jobs for the middle class. we are going to put that compromise on the ballot in 2014. the need for compromise, the need for investment in the middle class was the focus of the president appearance today. with that, i yield back to the
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chairman. >> we will take your questions. >> the persistent president has had these ideas. other than going to the voters in 2014, what can you do between now and 2014 to see some of these ideas actually become law? can you discuss that? >> i will simply say this. our members are ready to go out in august to talk to our constituents. we are asking them to please be out there as often as possible and talk to americans about how we are ready to work with the president to help this country create more jobs, to continue to expand and improve our health care opportunities, and to make sure we get things done like fixing a broken immigration system. we are ready. we look forward to our
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republican colleagues to join us. make no mistake we are ready to work with the president. compromise, as has been said, to get some of this done. while we created 7 million jobs, it's not enough. click to the president you to go president ask you the august break -- >> public sentiment is everything. the only progress we has made in the 202 days has been a result of public sentiment. republicans in the senate realize that 70% of the hispanic community voted democratically, not just for president but for congress, so that it was probably a good idea to move forward for a bipartisan comprehensive immigration
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reform. it was hundreds of days late, but nonetheless the message was very clear and the public about the violence against women act so the republican leadership brought it to the floor, overwhelmingly voting against it, but nonetheless they brought it to the floor. this is the inequality the president is talking about. there is tremendous support for raising the minimum wage. that would help lessen the disparity in terms of income inequality and making work pay, especially for women. we don't really want to wait until the election and have this be items for the election agenda. we want to get something done sooner. the agenda of republicans saying to the president, our agenda is nothing and the timetable is never. never does not work for the american people when they need
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jobs. does it create jobs? does it reduce the deficit? let's take a conversation to the public. we want to succeed with the issues that are important to the electorate. sometimes they turn off the discussion and it's understandable. also, the inside language on raising the debt ceiling, what does it mean? what it means to you and everyone with a 401(k) is that there will be losers in this. it's important for people to know that these decisions have ramifications in the lives of american people and how it effects them. how many of you check your 401(k) on a regular basis? maybe you don't, but many americans do. since the president has been in office, the stock market has improved. any discussion of a shutdown or not reaching the debt ceiling, undermining the full faith and credit of the united states of america hurts people individually.
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they should know that. this is about a few good items to take to the public on how it them. the most important thing is how we create good day and jobs as we reduce the deficit to strengthen the middle class. we are depending on you to get the message out. steny hoyer. >> the president has indicated as much as any president i have worked with over the last 33 years is a willingness to talk with those with whom he disagrees or who disagrees with him to get something done. he indicated that in the budget he submitted this year, he included a compromise. let me make a point that all of you know very well. where do we may compromise in the united states? in the conference. when there is a disagreement, we go to conference. that is the regular order speaker boehner speaks. they passed a budget over 120 days ago in the house and senate.
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no conference. a refusal to go to conference. in effort to go to conference by senator reed, but we cannot initiate it, but they refuse to do so. the farm bill, they passed it, and the chairman of the rules committee is waiting. no effort to go to conference. the president is willing. we are willing. frankly, the democrats have indicated that we are willing to sit down to reach a compromise which is how democracy works. >> did the president promised to do more to sell the affordable care act? are you satisfied you are going to make the case to the public strongly enough in the face of the republican attacks?
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>> we're very confident about what the white house is doing and how we are working together to to implement the affordable care act, yes. >> one last question. >> were you surprised about the comments made about larry summers? >> the president did not bring up the subject of larry summers. someone else did. the president is the president of the united states. i would not say a defense, but he just spoke when he thought about larry summers. it was not really about larry summers, but it was about how important this decision is, the ramifications of who the chairman of the fed is for a long time to come recognizing that there are differing views in our caucus on the subject and how we go forward while
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understanding that whoever the president chooses will be received with great respect by our caucus. >> thank you very much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> senate democrats also met with the president and discussed their meeting with reporters. we will hear first from majority leader harry reid.
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>> we just completed our special caucus. i wish that everyone in america could have watched that. the questions were good at covering a wide range of areas and the president didn't eat -- didn't beat around the bush on anything. one thing is very clear -- the president did not beat around the bush. we are united. democrats are united on the simple principle that our energy be focused on creating jobs and supporting the middle class. our economy is growing, but not fast enough. that's an understatement. our job is to stay out of the way and avoid more self- inflicted wounds, not the least of it being avoiding
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sequestration. leadership is working with us on a bipartisan compromise on a wide range of issues. does that mean we will agree on everything? of course not, but i hope the trend will continue in the months ahead. our door is open. we are ready to work with anyone who wants to do the right thing, for the economy in the middle class, and so was the president. we hope the majority of republicans, instead of a small group of republicans, will choose to compromise or a confrontation in the months ahead. richard? >> i have been to a number of meetings with our caucus and the president and i cannot remember one more positive. the president came in with a focus and a message and he emerged with a unified caucus behind him. many questions were asked, as senator reid mentioned, but they
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were central to our position. the message in august will be delivered to them. we need to make sure that we are creating good paying jobs in america and that we are sensitive to the struggles of working families across this country. that has been the hallmark of this party. it's been the message of this president. it is the one we will carry forward. the last vote will be the 68 vote to repeal obamacare. they are so out of touch am a they do not understand the value of this affordable care act and what it means to families and our future in this nation. they are so determined to defy this president that they will not work with us many times to solve the problems we face. we need to make sure families do have health insurance and a good paying job. what the president focused on is making sure we put investments in infrastructure, investments in education and training and research for the future.
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it was a good, positive message for us to have as a sendoff to our august recess. >> the president did a very important thing yesterday and got the full support of our caucus today. he said look, we care about deficit reduction. we care about bringing spending into line. but focusing on the middle class, job growth, middle-class incomes is number one in america. that is what is beginning to happen here. for 30 years the republicans seemed to or felt they had high ground on talking about cuts. as a result of those cuts in part, middle-class incomes are declining. as a result of sequestration, job growth is still anemic. and the american people are realizing it. so focusing on investment that helps in the class and being
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very clear and specific about where they are is the new day and the new way in america. they're going to find it very difficult to say they're going to shut down the government or let the debt not be repaid. simply to continue these cuts which hurt middle-class jobs and hurt middle-class incomes. and as harry and mentioned, our caucus is so completely united here they are divided. they are all over the lot. some people want to shut down the government for this reason. some people want to shut down the government for that reason and some people do not think they should shut the government down at all. we are united that we insist that focusing on middle-class job growth is key and we are not going to sacrifice other goals for that.
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>> the president delivered a very strong message and our caucus is 100% in agreement with him that we have to focus on jobs and the economy and creating a strong middle class. irving forward, making sure we have the investments in transportation and infrastructure and education and research are what we need to continue to focus on to make sure that our country, not just looks good starting on paper but people start feeling good about himself again. our caucus is 100% with him. he made it clear that he was not going to negotiate over the debt ceiling. we have got to stop lurching from crisis to crisis in his words and in our words. and we're going to fight hard to make sure we continue to manage our country in a way that makes
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middle-class families feel secure. right now we have the transportation and housing bill on the floor. it is a great example of bipartisan work that we need to continue. with the number of republican supporting it in full committee and on the floor it is a bill that invests in those exact things. the infrastructure that jobs, the economy that are so important to the future. there are those in the leadership that are working hard to not allow this bill to be finished and moved forward. we hope that our republican colleagues will join with us tomorrow to make sure we are making the right investments. that we are not managing by crisis but doing the job that we were sent here to do. >> questions. >> what did you think of the comments regarding the search for the fed chairman? >> i am happy to tell you what he told us. he has a long list of people he is talking to. he indicated that there is not -- his words --
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not a piece of paper difference in all of them so he is weighing all the minus and plus is and he is making a decision. >> he talk today of compromise and strategy. >> the strategy has been pretty clear from the beginning. he has reached out to republicans as i have said before. some of my democrats are jealous that he has been with them so much. to the stage they have been unwilling to give him anything in writing as to what they want to do. the president was very clear. his doors open. he will be happy to meet with them any time to talk about a way to solve the problems of this country. on sequestration which is part of the discussion we had, he will not protect defense at the detriment of non-defense spending. he indicated what the
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republicans always do. send this over bills, military structure in, va, defense, then they passed that and leave the rest of the world without any help. we are not going to do that this time. >> what would it come from eyes on? compromiseld it on? >> the caucus must follow the president. we know what is in his budget. we know it he would do if republicans stepped forward. we do not need a long discussion. we know as we learned in the debate yesterday. anything the president wants, even though their ideas were accepted, there against corporate tax reform. we have heard the mantra of the republicans for years saying -- he agreed to do it. i gave direct quotes from the republican leader here. now they suddenly oppose what
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they agreed to. we know that there has been a revenue component. the caucus is totally supportive. >> my senators have been involved publicly. skepticism?are the >> my senators have been involved publicly. larry summers is a long time friend. i think he is very competent man but that decision is up to the president. whoever the president selects, this caucus will be for that person no matter who it is. thanks, everybody. >> the president will take his message on jobs and the economy out west when he visits phoenix, arizona.
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on wednesday, he will visit troops and their families at camp pendleton. >> the first electronic computer was planned, it was estimated there can never be a market for more than two or three. today, there are more than 5000 computers. replica of a mission designed in 1890. the census took almost 10 years to complete. time ford run out of the 1900 census would be due. a way around the problem was to automate or recognize the problem. askway it was solved was to a bunch of questions, the usual --nches -- luncheons
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questions, and punch the responses on a small piece of card. years ofrst 2000 computing sunday at 7 p.m., part of american history tv, every weekend on c-span 3. , i think they served as a window on the past to what was going on with american women at any given time in our past history. if you look at a first lady's life you get a view of what is going on with women. the other thing that i find very interesting from a women's history standpoint is that it is the conjunction of the public and private lives of women which is a topic that many scholars are very interested in. i think first ladies epitomize the coming together of the public and the private life in an individual. >> our series examines the public and private lives of
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first ladies. week nights starting next week at 9 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> the obama administration released new documents on wednesday on nsa surveillance programs surely before a senate committee hearing. officials from the fbi, nsa, and justice department testified about the use of the foreign intelligence surveillance act to gather information on u.s. citizens. this part of the hearing is under two hours. >> good morning. today, the issue of committee will scrutinize government
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surveillance programs conducted on the foreign intelligence surveillance act or if i said. in the years since september 11, congress has repeatedly expanded the scope of pfizer and has given the government sweeping new powers to collect information on law-abiding americans. we must consider whether those laws have gone too far. americans have learned that one of these authorities, section 215 of the usa patriot act has been secretly interpreted to authorize the collection of phone records on an unprecedented scale. information was leaked about section 702 of fisa, which authorizes the collection of to medications of foreigners overseas.
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i do not condone the way these and other highly classified programs are disclosed. i am concerned about the potential damage of intelligence gathering capabilities and national security. it is appropriate to hold people accountable for allowing such a massively to occur. we need to examine how to print this type of reach in the future. in the wake of these leaks, the president said this is an opportunity to have an open and thoughtful debate about these issues. i will come that statement because this is a debate that several of us on this committee and both parties have been trying to have for years. i will get the classified briefings but you cannot talk about them. a lot of these things that should be and can be discussed. we're going to have the debate that the president called for and the executive branch has been a full partner. we need straightforward answers. i am concerned we are not
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getting them. just recently the director of national intelligence acknowledged he invited false testament about the nsa surveillance program during a senate hearing in march. his office had removed a fact sheet after concerns were raised. i appreciate it is difficult talking about programs in public settings. the american people expect and deserve honest answers create it is difficult to get a straight answer about the effectiveness of the phone records program. whether this is a critical national security tool is a key question for congress as we consider possible changes to the law. supporters of this program have repeatedly complained that the efficacy of the section 215 [indiscernible] i do not think that is coincidence when we have people
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in government make that comparison. it needs to stop. i think the patience of the american people is beginning to wear thin. what has to be of more concern is democracy -- the trust of the american people is wearing thin. i asked general al zander and i -- alexander and i understand he cannot be here today. he is at a convention in las vegas. i asked general alexander about the effectiveness of the phone records program. he agreed to provide a classified list of terrorist events that section 215 help to prevent and i have reviewed that list. although i agree this speaks to
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the content collection, it does not do the same for section 215. it simply -- let alone 54 as some have projected. the phone records of all of us in this room reside in an nsa database. i have said repeatedly just because we have the ability to collect huge amounts of data does not mean that we should be doing so. the collection of internet meta- data was shut down because it failed to produce meaningful intelligence. we need to take a close look at the phone records program. this program is not effective. it has to end. i am not convinced by what i have seen. i am sure we will hear from witnesses who say this -- these programs are critical.
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there is always going to be dots to collect and analyze and try to connect. the government is collecting data on millions of innocent americans on a daily basis. based on a secret legal interpretation of the statute that does not appear to authorize this kind of collection. so what is going to be next? when is enough enough? i think congress has to carefully consider the powerful surveillance tools that we grant the government and ensure that there is stringent oversight and accountability and transparency. this data should not be limited to those surveillance programs about which information was leaked. that is why i have introduced a bill that addresses not only section 215 and section 702, also national security letters, roving wiretaps, other authorities on the patriot act. privacy is not a partisan issue. i think senator leahy and others for their support. i hope others will join that effort. we are grateful for the participation of the current member of the judiciary and
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former judge of the pfizer -- fisa court. i hope this will give us an opportunity for debate. and i will yield first to senator grassley and we will call on the first panel. james cole. we will put the statement in the record traded it not arrive in time to be given. he will answer questions. senator grassley. >> mr. chairman, i thank you for holding this hearing and i think it is important that congress do its oversight work which this hearing is part of, but it is even more important, the more
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secretive program is, the more oversight that congress has, and as you have said, probably more about this program could be told to the public and the more that could be told, maybe more understanding and less questioning on the part of the public. the foreign intelligence surveillance act provides the statutory framework for electronic surveillance in the context of foreign intelligence data. investigating threats to our national security gives rise to a tension between the protection of citizen privacy rights and the government's legitimate national security interest. congress, through this legislation, has sought and i hope successfully to strike a balance in this sensitive area. but whether it is the right balance is one of the reasons we are having this hearing.
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the reports in the media have raised important questions regarding exactly what information about american citizens is being collected by the government, whether the programs are being conducted as congress intended, and whether there are sufficient safeguards to ensure that they cannot be abused by this or any future administration. in short, the reports have raised questions about whether the proper balance has been struck. we need to look no further than the recent irs scandal to see what can happen when an unchecked executive branch bureaucracy with immense power targets political opponents. these actions trampled many citizens most basic rights to fully participate in our democratic process. this kind of abuse cannot be permitted to occur in our national security agency's -- agencies as well and maybe even
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more importantly, oversight i congress will play an important role as we -- by congress will play an important role as we evaluate the wisdom of the intelligence programs create congress needs accurate information to conduct oversight responsibilities that the constitution demands that we do under our checks and balances of government. that is why it was especially disturbing to see that the director of national intelligence was forced to apologize for inaccurate statements he made last march he for senate intelligence committee. nothing can excuse this kind of behavior from a senior administration official of any administration.
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we have a constitutional duty to protect citizen privacy. we have an equal responsibility to ensure that the government provides a strong national defense. that is a given. intelligence gathering is necessary and a vital part of that defense. we have a duty to ensure that the men and women of our military, intelligence, and counterterrorism committees have the tools that they need to get the job done. i understand officials contend the programs authorized under fisa are critical tools and have assisted them in disrupting attacks here and abroad. to the extent possible in this unclassified setting, i look forward to hearing how these programs have made our nation safer. i want to emphasize that this is an equally important part of the balance that we have to strike. and as we consider whether reform of these intelligence or grams is necessary or desirable,
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we must also make sure we do not overreact and repeat the mistakes of the past. we know that before 9/11, there was a wall erected under the clinton administration between intelligence gathering and law enforcement. that wall contribute to our failure to be able to connect the dots and prevent 9/11. none of the reforms that we consider should effectively revealed that wall. additionally, while the intelligence and the law enforcement communities need to share information in a lawful way, any reform we consider should not confuse the differences between these contexts. for example, no reform should be based on a misguided legal theory that foreign terrorists are entitled to the same constitutional rights that americans expect in home. increased transparency is a worthy goal in general.
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as i suggested before whenever we can talk about these programs, i think there is less questions out there in the minds of people and we probably created some public relations problems for us and for this for a gram and four our national security community because maybe we have not made enough information available. i say that understanding that we cannot tell our enemies what tools we use. but if we consider any reform that may bring more transparency to the process we should keep in mind that every piece of information will be read by a determined adversary and that adversary is -- has demonstrated the capacity to kill thousands of americans even on our own soil. i look forward to engaging witnesses as we seek to strike the difficult and sensitive balance between privacy and security. >> thank you.
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our first witness is james cole. he served for 13 years and the criminal division. mr. cole is no stranger to this committee. please go ahead. >> thank you. thank you for inviting us here to speak about the 215 business records program and sex -- section 702. we are constantly seeking to achieve the right balance between the protection of national security and privacy and civil liberties. we believe these programs have achieved the right balance. first of all, both programs are conducted under public statutes,
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passed and later reauthorized by congress. neither is a program that has been hidden away or off the books. all three branches of government play a significant role in the oversight of these programs. the judiciary through the foreign intelligence surveillance court plays a role in authorizing the or grams and overseeing compliance. the executive branch conducts extensive internal reviews to ensure compliance and congress passes the laws, oversees our implementation of the laws, and determines whether or not the current laws should be reauthorized and in what form. let me explain how this has worked in the context of the 215 program. the program involves the collection of metadata from telephone calls. these are records maintained by the phone companies. they include the number the call was dialed from, the number the call was dialed to, the date and time of the call, and the length of the call. the records do not include the names or other personal
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identifying information. they do not include cell site or other location information and they do not include the content of any phone calls. these are the kinds of records that under long-standing supreme court precedents are not protected by the fourth amendment. the short court order you have seen published in the newspapers only allows the government to acquire the phone records. it does not allow the government to access or use them. the terms under which the government may access or use the records is covered by another, more detailed court order that -- it has to have suspicion that the phone number thing searched is associated with certain terrorist organizations.
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the order imposes restrictio on nsa to ensure that only properly trained analysts may access the data and they can only access it when there is reasonable suspicion. the documentation of the justification is important so that it can be reviewed by supervisors before the search and audited afterwards to ensure compliance. in the criminal context, the government could obtain the same types of records with a grand jury subpoena without going to the court. here we go to the court every 90 days to seek the authorization to collect the records. in fact, since 2006, the court has authorized a program on 34 separate occasions involving 14 different judges. as part of that renewal trusses, we informed the court whether there have been compliance problems and if there have been, the core will take a hard look and make sure we have corrected those problems. as we have explained before, the 11 judges on the court are far from a rubber stamp.
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instead they review all of our pleadings thoroughly and question us and the different approve an order until they are satisfied that we have met all statutory and constitutional requirements. in addition, congress also plays a significant role in this program. the classified details of this program have been briefed to intelligence committees and their staffs on numerous occasions. if there are any significant issues that arise with the 215 programs, we would root for those -- report those to the committees right away. any significant interpretations would likewise be reported to the committee under a statutory obligation including opinions of any significant interpretation along with any of the court orders that go with them. in addition, congress lays role in reauthorizing the provision under which the government carries out this program and has done so since 2006. section 215 of the patriot act has been renewed times since the program was initiated, including most recently for an additional
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four years in 2011. in connection with those recent renewals, the government provided a classified briefing paper to the house and senate intelligence committees to be made available to all members of congress. the briefing paper and the second updated version of it set out the operation of the programs in detail, explain the government and the court had interpreted the section to authorize collection of metadata and stated the government was collecting such information. they declassified and released those papers today. we also made offers to brief any member on the 215 program and the availability of the paper and the opportunity for oral briefings were promoted through letters issued to all members of congress. although we could not talk publicly about the program -- publicly about the program, members of congress were
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informed about the programs when they renewed it. i understand there have been recent proposals to amend section 215 to limit bulk collection of telephone metadata. as the president has said, we welcome the public debate about how to best safeguard security in the privacy of our citizens. we will be considering in the coming days and weeks further steps to declassify information and help facilitate that debate just as we have done this morning and releasing the primary order and the congressional briefing papers. in the meantime, however, we look forward to working with the congress to determine a careful and deliberate way the tools that can best be structured and secure to secure the nation and at the same time, protect our privacy and civil liberties. >> think we can -- i think we can [indiscernible] the administration did declassify this order.
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it does not contain any real analysis or discussion of 215 elements so that will be part of our questions. before we go into the legality and usefulness of this, we had a huge security breach committed by edward snowden. it appears bradley manning downloaded thousands of classified documents and passed them on to wikileaks. if to data breaches of this -- two data breaches of this magnitude occurred in the private sector, somebody would have been held accountable by now. there is a lot of data kept in the private sector, trade secrets, and so on.
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who is taking responsibility for allowing this incredibly damaging security breach to occur? >> accountability must be considered at least at two levels. at the individual levels but we have to take a hard look to see whether individuals exercised their responsibilities appropriately. whether they exercised due diligence. >> obviously there was not. if a 29-year-old school dropout can come in and take out massive amounts of data, it is obvious that there were not adequate controls. has anybody been fired? >> not yet. >> has anybody been admonished? >> not until the investigations are under way. when they are complete we will
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have accountability. we will have to look to see whether people exercised responsibility appropriately. we extend top-secret credentials to many people. we will make a full accounting of that. >> president reagan made up a statement which has been used, trust but verify. you have to have a considerable amount of trust but don't you have people doubled checking what somebody is doing? >> we do, sir. ked, mr. snowden? >> there are checks at multiple
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levels, in terms of what an individual might be doing. >> you obviously failed. >> in this case we can say they've failed, but we do not yet know where. >> he is sitting at the airport in russia with millions of items >> they did fail but we do not know where precisely they failed and we may find they failed at multiple points in the system. in the exercise of individual responsibility or the design of the system in the first place. >> has anyone offered to resign? >> everyone is working hard to understand what happened and put in place the necessary -- >> how do we know who screwed up? >> we will find out and we will hold them accountable. >> are you taking steps to ensure such a screw up does not happen again? >> we have instituted a range of items to catch someone who might want to repeat what mr. snowden did. there are many other ways that someone might try to beat the system. >> you can understand why some people have used the old
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expression, locking the door after the horse has been stolen. >> i can, sir. >> i appreciate your candor. general alexander is in las vegas, but i will ask you this question. last month he promised to provide me with specific examples of terrorism cases where section 215 phone records collection has been used. there were dozens of cases where the 215 has been critical to discovering the disruption of terrorist plots. we do know that the classified material that they sent -- the document is classified. section 215 help to thwart or prevent 54 terrorist bots. not by any stretch can you get 54 terrorist plots. how many cases [indiscernible]
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to preventing a terrorist plot? >> the administration has disclosed there were 54 plots that were disrupted over the life of these two programs. >> section 215 was critical to preventing question mark >> no sir. 13 of those had a homeland nexus. others had essentially plots that would have come to fruition. >> how many of those 13 are plots that would harm americans? >> 12 had a homeland nexus. the question you asked is more precise in the sense of, is there a but for case to be made?
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but for 215, those plots would have been disrupted. that is a difficult question to answer. that is not necessarily how these programs work. what happens is that you essentially have a range of tools that you are -- at your disposal. one or more of these tools might tip you to apply. others might give you an exposure as to what the nature of that plot is and the exercise of multiple instruments of power to include law-enforcement power ultimately completes the picture and allows you to interdict that plot. there is an example amongst those 13 that comes close to a but for example and that is the case of the sally [indiscernible] >> i have read that case. >> this capability, the 215 collection of metadata is focused on the homeland, on detecting plots across the home domain. it made a contribution to a plot
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that was disrupted overseas. that shows that this actually is looking not simply at the homeland, but looking at the foreign homeland nexus. >> i hope we are not mixing up 215 with other sections. >> we tried hard not to do that. >> my time is up. go ahead. >> i wanted to add, as you mentioned before, how many do we need and we need to frame this by understanding who the adversary is and what they're trying to do. they're trying to harm america. they're trying to strike america. what we need is we need all these tools.
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you mentioned the value of 702 versus 215. they are different. i make the analogy like a baseball team. you have your most valuable player, but you have the players that hit singles every day. the plot to bomb the new york subway system, as this record to playedness record 215 a role. it identified a number we did not previously know. >> was it a critical role? >> there was some undercover work. >> each tool plays a different role. i'm not saying that it is the most -- >> were the fbi aware?
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>> we were not aware of that specific telephone number, which nsa provided us. >> we did everything. we could have more security and every building america. we could close borders completely to everybody. we're are not going to do that. we could put a wiretap on everybody's cell phone in america if we search everybody's home. there are certain things, certain areas of our own privacy that we americans expect. at some point, you have to know where the balance is. >> we ask questions of all the people. >> they're here to be able to add. >> i will start at with mr. cole. my questions are emphasizing to him form -- two in form and even
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be prepended if. i think the public needs a greater understanding of what we're up to here here. there are two legal authorities that were did -- we are discussing here. section 702, i will lay that aside. the other authority of section 215. many americans are concerned about the scope there. they fear that the government is spying on them and prying into their personal lives. i asked questions to make absolutely sure that i understand the scope of 215. what information does the government collect under this program, and specifically, is anyone's name, address, social security number, or location collected? >> name, address, location, social security number is not collected under the 215 program at all. never has been, never will be.
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secondly, the nature of the collection is very dependent on this reasonable articulate all our kids -- articulable suspiciion. -- suspicion. unless there is reasonable suspicion that the phone number you want to ask about is associated with terrorists. unless you get that step made me, you cannot enter that database and make a query and access any of that data. >> for emphasis, is the government listening in on any american phone calls through this program and let me say that i just heard within the last week on some news media that somebody is declaring that any bureaucrat someplace in some intelligence agency can pick up the phone and listen to the conversation. >> nobody is listening to anybody's conversations through
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this program and through program, nobody could. no information like that is being collected through this program. >> section 215 contains a requirement that records collected under the program, provision be relevant to and -- authorized investigation. how can you justify the assertion that phone records of millions of americans who have nothing to do with terrorism are relevant to an authorized investigation under section 215? >> i began by noting that a number of judges repeatedly over the years have found that these records are in fact, relevant. the reason is the standard of relevance we are talking about here is not the kind of relevance you think about in the perry mason sense of the criminal trial. it is a much broader standard of relevance and in a number of circumstances such as civil
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discovery, it is a well accepted concept that if you need to get a large group of records in order to find a smaller group of records that actually provides the information you need to move forward, that the larger group of records can be relevant. that is true in this case because of the kinds of controls that the deputy attorney general mentioned. the fact that the queries are limited, the access to the data is limited, and the fisa court has repeatedly found these records are relevant. >> is there any precedent that relevance to the investigation? >> the legal precedent comes from the history of the orders that have been issued. the court having looked at this under the fisa law and under the provisions of 215 and making sure under the provisions in the ability to get these records relevant to a criminal -- a
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foreign intelligence investigation, they have gone through the law that mr. litt has described. on 34 different occasions to do this analysis. that legal precedent is there. >> one part of the balance that we have to strike, protecting diversey of americans. the other part, national security. until the boston bombing we had prevented large-scale terrorist attacks on american soil. i have a few questions about the value of the programs that protected our security. can you describe any specific situations where section 215 and section 702 authorities helped
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disrupt a terrorist attack or identify individuals planning to attack, the number of times, and secondly, if you did not have the authority to collect phone records in bulk, the way that they are now under section 215, how would you have affected those investigations? >> the first question as far as a specific example of when we have utilized these programs is when i first mentioned, the first al qaeda directed plot since 9/11 in september of 2009 when there was a conspiracy to plant the bomb in the new york subway system. we found out about azazi through a nsa 702 coverage. he was talking to an al qaeda courier and asking for his help to perfect explosives recipe. for that we would not have known about the plot. we followed that up with legal
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process and had fisa coverage on him and others as we fully investigated the plot. 215 was also involved as a previously mentioned where we also, through legal process, were submitting legal process for telephone numbers and other e-mail addresses and other selectors but nsa also provided another number we are unaware of as a co-conspirator. that is an instance where a serious plot to attack america on u.s. soil that we used both these programs. what i say as the chairman mentioned, there is a difference in the utility of the programs. what i say to you is that each and every programming tool is valuable. what we have collectively try to do, the members of the committee, other members of the
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other oversight committees, the executive branch, and the intelligence community, is we have tried to close those gaps and close those seams. the utility of that specific program initially is not as valuable. you were right. we found no neck as of terrorism and close the case. in 2007, the nsa advised us through the business record to 15 program that -- 215 that there was contact in somalia.
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we identified mulali. he and three other individuals have been convicted and some played guilty to material support to terrorism. i go back to, we need to remember what happened in 9/11 and everyone in this room remembers where they were. >> we would like to keep somewhat close to the time. >> you mentioned about the dots. we must have the dots to connect the dots.
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>> thank you. one of the advantages of this committee, members on both sides of the aisle bring a lot of different abilities and various areas of expertise. the next witness is the chair of the senate intelligence committee. the next questioner. the chair of the senate intelligence committee, senator feinstein. >> thank you very much. i would like to begin by putting a couple of letters in the record. they have been declassified. the first is a letter to myself and senator chambliss. explaining it and making the information available.
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the second is that same letter to the house. we have before 2010 and 2011. >> with no objection, that will be made part of the record. >> thank you. i believe mr. inglis's statement makes obligor fact and it is an important fact. it is on page four of his letter and what he points out, mr. cole describes that the query can only be done on reasonable suspicion and only 22 people have access to that, trained and abetted analyst at the nsa. if the numbers are run and it looks like there is a problem, the report is made to the fbi. the fbi looks at it and if they want to collect content, they must get a probable cause warrant from the foreign intelligence surveillance court. in 2012, based on those fewer than 300 selectors, that is queries, we provided a total of
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12 reports to the fbi, which altogether tipped less than 500 numbers. what you're saying if i understand it is that maximum, there were 12 probable cause warrant. is that correct? >> any one of the numbers that were tipped could have led the fbi to develop probable cause on more than 12 but there are only 12 reports provided to the fbi across 2012 and they were less than 500 numbers in those reports collectively that were tipped to the fbi in 2012. >> let me ask mr. joyce this question.
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how many probable cause warrants were issued by the fbi in 2012? >> i can get you those numbers following the hearing. >> i think we appreciate that. >> i would add you make a very good point. once that information is passed to us involving anyone in the united states, we must go to the foreign intelligence surveillance court and show probable cause warrant to provide content. >> the nsa has produced an declassified a chart. it has the 54 total event. it includes section 702 authority and section 215
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authority. it shows the events disrupted a stunning combination of these two programs. 13 in the homeland. 25 in europe. five in africa, and 11 in asia. now, i \remember, i was on the intelligence committee before 9/11. and every member how little information -- i remove or how little information we had the criticism of the government because of these stovepipes, the inability to share intelligence, the inability to collect intelligence, we had no \program that could have caught two people in san diego before the
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event took place. i support this program. i think, based on what i know, they will come after us and i think we need to prevent an attack wherever we can from happening. that does not mean that we cannot make some changes. yesterday, the intelligence committee, i outlined some changes that we might consider as part of our authorization bill. let me quickly run through them. the number of american phone numbers submitted as queries on a regular basis annually from the database, the number of for furl's made to the fbi each year, based on those queries, and how many times the fbi obtains probable cause warrants to collect the content of a call which we now know is very few times, relatively. the number of times that a company, this is at their request from the high-tech companies, that any company is required to provide data pursuant to fisa's business records provision.
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the companies that provide information or seeking to be able to speak more publicly about this. i think we should. there are some changes we can make to the business record section. we are looking at reducing the five-year retention period down to two or three years. it is my understanding that the usefulness of it tails off as the years go on. we have to consider that point. requiring the nsa to send to the fisa court for its review the records of each query of the database as soon as it is practical so the court can determine the propriety of the query under the law. these are things that can be done to increase transparency, but not to stop the program. i believe, based on what i have seen and i read intelligence
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regularly, that we would place this nation in jeopardy if we eliminated these two programs. thank you, mr. chairman. >> \may i offer a brief response to that? >> [indiscernible] into the individual's browsing history or e-mail or social history? you wanted to say something. >> i wanted to say that i think the administration is more or less in the same place that senator feinstein is. we are open to reevaluating this program in ways that can perhaps
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provide greater confidence and public trust that this is a program that achieves privacy protection and national security. in fact, the white house -- has directed the director of national intelligence to make recommendations in that area. we are looking forward to working with you to see if there are changes that are made that are consistent with preserving the essence of the program and yet provide greater public confidence. >> thank you. senator \cornyn. he is the deputy republican leader and we appreciate the amount of time he spent in this committee.
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>> thank you for having this hearing and thanks to each of the witnesses or your service to our country. those of us who have been here for a little while and through the evolution of these programs have learned more than the public generally knows about how they operate, and i think that has helped give us confidence in what is occurring, but i am also sensitive to some of senator feinstein's observations. about the importance of maintaining public confidence in classified programs which is a tough thing to do. but i have also been reminded of the fact that since 2007, we have 43 new members of the united states senate, and so there have been some people who have come to the senate in recent years who perhaps have not enabled to observe through their regular work some of the development of these programs
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and so i think the hearing ike this, the other hearing should have participated in that i have attended have been very important to giving everyone a foundation of information where they can have confidence on behalf of the people we represent. but i would like to ask maybe starting with mr. cole and going down the line to get your reaction to the criticism made of the operations of the foreign intelligence surveillance court made by james robertson. this has to do with the nature of ex parte proceedings before the court. i know that when it comes to individualized warrants, it is common in our system to have essentially ex parte proceedings but here, when the foreign intelligence surveillance court is authorizing a program, it is, according to judge robertson, under this expanded jurisdiction, it is turning the court into an administrative agency. and of course, talking again about public confidence in the oversight of the court, which i
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think is an important part of maintaining that confidence, what would you think there would be some advantage, having more of an adversarial process? i would like to get your reaction. >> thank you. i can tell you that we have had far more than another administrative agency. they push back hard. they make sure that they are the guardians of the law and the constitution. having an adversary and there is worth having a discussion about. it is being discussed in the
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senate and house. it is one of those areas that i think is part of the debate that i think we should be having about how to do this. there are issues that we will have to work through. ference is in classifications. who will be there and their role be. things of that nature. these the type of discussions we need to have. as you pointed out, it is not the usual course. in the criminal law context, we have many search warrant's and title iii surveillance warrants that are not done in an adversarial way. this is part of what we would like to be doing and would like to see this has some utility. >> do you have any to add? >> my background is informational. i have an obligation to ensure these things are done in a way that is consistent with the constitution. we welcome any any and all hard questions. we enjoy the process. we think that we should be held accountable to these questions.
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we could do we need to support the whole of the constitution. not just the defense of the national security, but the defense of civil >> the point i would like to make, from the perspective of the intelligence community is, this is unusual process. the court is involved in the conduct of foreign intelligence. i do not know any other nation in the world that has the degree of overseeing that this nation has already. able make a mistake and analogy when they hear the term court and of this as an avid serial receding. the question is, what is the best way to ensure that our intelligence programs are conducted in compliance with the law? if it would help to have an avid serial process built-in, that would be worth doing. we should not make this a criminal trial.
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it is a different process. >> my background is informational. i will defer to the lead attorney. >> thank you. i hope that we have something that can collect data on u.s. citizens and you are not saying that the courts should not be involved. >> thank you very much. as a former prosecutor, i have believed that our laws must strike the right balance between protecting our civil liberties and our national security. i think that most americans will say that they did not expect the sweeping nature of these
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surveillance programs. for that reason, i think this opportunity to re-examine these programs to make sure that they are more transparent without sacrificing the benefits they make to national security is very important. i just got this course order that is hot off the presses. you said that the metadata, which i assume is the collected data that we have been hearing about on domestic phone calls, not the phone conversation itself. then we going to a second category when you are investigating parts of that metadata. that is based on this order. this is category three. this is when you get a court order to investigate a person. is that a fair way to look at this. >> that is a good way of looking at this. the only thing we are involved in surveilling are smaller groups that we have reasonable suspicion for.
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we are not surveilling everything that is in the database. you have to go to the specific requirements. >> there would have to be reasonable suspicion that there is a terrorist. >> reasonable suspicion that it is relevant to an investigation of certain terrorist organizations. >> is there a percent of that data that you look at when you are getting to the big meta-data and go down to the next category. what percentage of the data is the next category. >> it is hard to quantify. i've heard anything from 0.0001%. it is a very tiny fraction of the metadata. >> we are down to the part where you are looking in.
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>> that is even smaller. we have to have probable cause to believe that those people are falling within the requirement of the foreign intelligence surveillance act. >> is there no way of limiting the program that would not have adverse effects on our ability to monitor national security threats? >> this is what we're looking at right now. as chairman feinstein noted, she has made some recommendations and we are in the process of looking through that to see if there are other ways of going about doing this where we still preserve the effectiveness of the operation and limit whatever intrusions come from that. >> i know one idea that general out xander suggested is the idea telecommunication companies holding the records, rather than the nsa. as long as the government could get access. do you want to testify about
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that? is that a viable alternative? >> there are multiple implementations that could work. with that the score that against what we've seen at the top. we need to have the ability to, if you ask a question of the database where you have reasonable suspicion about a plot against the homeland, you want to check to see if there is a connection to the homeland. you need the brass within the database. when you get a response, you have found it in any particular location in the world. the breadth is important. so long as you do this in a timely way.
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we need to disrupt and from -- an operation that is in progress. there might be situations where you have time to take more time. we will have to think through whether or not our providers to meet that standard. finally, to the question that senator feinstein asked, our experience has shown that our intelligence, writ large, has a tail-off after five years. when you take a hard look at that and determine how long these things are necessary and be on that, how long these are valid this is been classified. is there an effort underway to declassify some of the legal rationale we're trying to get get as much as we can out of the nationals in purity concerns of those releases. our goal is to have as much information as we can. >> thank you very much, let me
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ask this. with regard to mr. joyce's comments about dealing with the thing that you could interdict and stop. the collection of data under this program played a role in the culmination of that case. fundamentally you are a deputy attorney general under janet reno for six years you are the member of criminal justice. you have studied this issue. has this violated because it using it anyway by defying u.s. law and the constitution?
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>> thank you for the promotion, i never served as judy attorney general. >> i have a hard time keeping all the deputy assistant straight. i just want to raise a certain point. i think the answer is under the controlling case law that the collection of this kind of telephone metadata from the telephone companies is not violating anyone's constitutional rights. >> when as a federal prosecutor, you are a federal posterior. this complex case resulted in a subpoena to phone companies.
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>> i would say vast majority required phone records. when you did that, you would get a lot of details about the call, but not the contents of the call. >> you can get the subscriber information. once the phone and things of that nature. we do not get that under this program. >> this haystack of information is only numbers. it does not have the name of the person connected to that number. is that correct? >> if we find a thing that is important, we had to do other investigations to find out who belongs to those numbers. the chairman and others talked about, when the patriot act was passed, we went into great detail about this issue. i would say that balancing the constitutional rights of danger versus constitutional rights is not the right way to phrase
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this. i believe that everything in the patriot act at we passed was consistent in principle with the things that have been done by law enforcement for years and decades, in terms of the ability to issue subpoena and obtain the records. there are a few new applications of its two new technologies. essentially, the principles were maintained. would you agree? >> yes. i think that we have struck the balance properly. there is always room for discussion and getting people's inputs. sometimes, we revisit these things and make sure that we get a balance right. >> i agree with that. this haystack of phone numbers,
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there is no ability to listen to any of these conversations that occurred, is there? >> no. we do not capture these conversations. there is no ability and no possibility of listening to conversations. >> as an intelligence lawyer, you had the ability to tap a terrorist phone call in yemen. that person calls into the united states on a lawful wiretap, do you listen to the call? a wiretap listens to the conversation that the bad guy has with whoever they call. >> that is correct. under pfizer, the court requires
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us to have minimization procedures to make sure that we do not disseminate the communications of americans unless they are evidence of a crime or valid foreign intelligence. >> if you want to tap a terrorist in the united states, you have to have a warrant with probable cause, do you not? >> that is correct. >> if you identify a person by surveilling a foreign terrorist, you still have to have information sufficient to get a title iii warrant to listen to that person's phone calls. >> they could be a title iii warrant or an individual warrant. either way, there is a relevant
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probable cause standard that has to be met. >> i know this committee has worked hard on this. we have tried to make sure that every provision in the act was consistent with our constitution and legal heritage. we will listen to the concerns that are being raised. if we have made a mistake, i am going to change it. i'm inclined to think that all of these things are consistent with the constitution. >> one of the reasons that we are having this hearing is that there are going to be proposals for changing the law. >> thank you mr. chairman. i want to thank all the witnesses for their service to the country. >> i want to be clear at the outset, these programs protect our country and save lives. i think there is a critical problem at the center of this debate.
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that is the lack of transparency around these programs. the government has to give proper weight to keeping america safe from terrorists and protecting american's privacy. almost everything about these programs is secret. the company is involved under strict gag orders in the american public has no way of knowing whether or not we are gain a balance right. that is bad for privacy and bad for democracy. tomorrow, i'm introducing a bill to fix this. it will force government to disclose how many americans have had to information collected under the key authorities of the foreign intelligence surveillance act. it will force the government to disclose how many americans have had the information reviewed by federal agents. my bill would allow private companies to disclose aggregate
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figures about the number of pfizer orders that they are receiving and the number of their users that these orders have affected. two weeks ago, a broad coalition of 63 internet companies and bipartisan civil liberties groups sent a letter to the president asking for reforms that my bill would make law. i'm proud to say that i am introducing my bill with the support of chairman leahy. senator feinstein and i might have some overlap in our purchase. i will be happy to work with her. i like to focus my questions on transparency. in the weeks after mr. snowden's leaks, the office of the director of national intelligence decide to declassify the fact that in
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2012, 300 queries were run on the database of records under section 215 of the patriot act. can you tell me why this fact was declassified? >> to be cleared, what was declassified was the fact that there were fewer than 300 telephone numbers approved for queries. there can be more than one query, based on the same telephone number. for example, over time, you can check. the number that was declassified was the one under reasonable and articulable suspicion. >> why did you decide to declassify the fact? we are looking at all the information surrounding these programs. what has already been revealed. fundamentally, these programs
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were declassified to begin with because revealing our capabilities would give our adversaries and edge in how to avoid these abilities. once these programs became public, we listed at all the details around these programs. we are making assessment to each one of them to make sure that it is in the public interest to release that fact that has been declassified. i think that -- i do not want the public to take our word. i think there's a balance here. transparency is part of that balance. i do not want a situation where the government is transparent only when it is convenient for the government. >> i think --
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>> about an hour ago, there is a revision to section 215. for weeks, they knew this hearing was coming. they release his before the hearing began. again, it is a step forward, but you get the feeling that it is ad hoc transparency. that does not engender trust. >> i cannot agree with you more. we have in the -- an obligation to look at the bad and the good and declassify what can be declassified without danger. we had a discussion within the executive branch about whether or not we should release these documents is morning or not. is generally not a good idea to release things on the morning of the hearing. he came to the conclusion that when we had made the determination that the documents should be declassified, there is no justification to hold them up. >> did you just are about that decision yesterday? your known about this a long time. you might have thought about this weeks ago. instead of, the day of.
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>> we have been processing the's as quickly as we can. they're things that remain classified. it is a time-consuming interagency process. >> my time is up. i think that we should create a strong permanent set of public reporting requirements that will empower the public to recent own conclusions about the merits of these programs. that is with the bill i am working on will accomplish. i love to work with senator feinstein. i would love it if you would work with me to make sure that we get the reporting requirements right as we move forward with the bill. would you do that? >> absolutely.
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i would be glad to do that. >> i want to comment all for the witnesses here for their candor and on one at single out mr. inglis. i have been advised that you have always been clear and straightforward. often that is in classified sessions. however, that is in open sessions. >> i'm sorry i was not here to hear your testimony. i know you have all noted in your written testimonies that there are checks within the fisa system. do you believe that there are insufficient checks to outweigh the concerns that some have about the appointment of an independent counsel? if you have touched on this in earlier questions, i apologize.
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you mention this with regard to independent counsel. in the second panel, mr. baker raise concerns with the independent counsel. can you give me your thoughts about whether or not it is needed? >> this is a topic being discussed within the administration and congress as one avenue that might be available. traditionally, when you issue search warrants and wiretaps, you do not have an absurd a process that takes place. there's not someone on the other side. there is a legal tradition that the way we have been doing it is one that we have done in other context. we have a court involved. that is unusual, as it was pointed out. ridiculously within a foreign intelligence context. this is something that we are
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open to having discussions about. what the utility and the role would be. how would work. the devil could be in the details. all of these things are worth discussing. >> if there was an independent counsel involved, would there be problems of timeliness? would you have staff cleared to review sensitive information if others wanted to address that? >> i will start -- it may be, a little bit. the court pushes back itself. we make sure that we satisfy all the requirements under the law and constitution. and there's someone on the other side, i would would imagine they do the same thing on the same schedule. >> there is a letter that the chief judge of the foreign intelligence surveillance court has written to the chairman. it is available on the internet and outlines, in some detail, the procedures that the court
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has followed. it indicates the care that the fisa court has followed. >> there has been criticism about the process that we have in the selection of these judges. and may lead to more republican judges being appointed then democrats. do you sense or see any difference with -- with -- is that an issue that people should be concerned about? >> from my experience, i have not seen any decisions that are being guided by politics. that is certainly a topic that we would be to the sound discretion of congress. >> other thoughts? >> any problem with the process of selection of judges?
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>> it is hard to tell how another judge would have rendered the decision. you only have the one judge rendering the decision. >> thank you. >> thank you. i'm a liberal arts lawyer. i took some courses but it has been a long time ago. i'll ask the panelists to help me do some math. in 2012, there were 300 questions that resulted in a search of records. we are told that there are three hops. if i was the subject matter of the search and i called senator feinstein, they would evacuate all the records of my telephone calls.
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and all of the telephone calls of senator feinstein. it may include chairman leahy. mr. jennifer, of the aclu, will testify and speculate later that if i had 40 contacts, that would mean that for my name, you would accumulate 2 million phone records. 2 million. for one inquiry. multiply that by 300. we're talking about 600 million phone records. multiply that times seven years. what has been described as a discrete program, to go after people who would cause us harm, when you look at the reach of this program, it envelops a substantial number of americans. can somebody help me with the
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math here question mark have i missed something along the way can someone help me with the math here? have i missed something along the way? >> i would be happy to follow up in any detail that you'd like. first and foremost, analysts are charged with providing information that is useful. in that regard, they try to be judicious about choosing when to do a second or third hop. those are always exercised. they do not always exercise a second half for all numbers provided by the first top. theoretically, 40 times 40 times 40 get you to a large number. what we see, for example is that the second hop, there are significant numbers that are associated with that number. it will have to come with something that you glommed onto. you do not want to pursue a pizza delivery man. that is not useful.
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if, on the second hop, you see it is linked to a number that is to a known terrorist, you want to make a third hop. >> i understand that part. we're trying not to waste the time and resources of government. the reach of this goes beyond 300. but that is an important question. we have to compare the theory to practice. the reason we declassify the numbers is to show that we are judicious. only 300 times it we use a selector for query. >> if i can add one thing, it is important to remember that all we are getting out of this is numbers. nobody's name, nobody's address. this is a tool to identify health phone numbers.
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>> i understand that. here is what i offered to a committee that garnered four votes. most members were not aware of this to 15 program in detail. i knew more than some. not as much as i am learning today. there is concern today. at that time, he cousin limited knowledge of the members, i got four votes. if my cell phone is an area code 217, which it is, and i am a suspect, i think is appropriate and eying courage my government to find out why i'm talking to. that is important will stop i cannot get to the point where i required everyone who was a 217 area code to have the records collected. multiply that across every area code in america.
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look at the potential reach. it seems to me that what is being described as a narrow program is, in fact, a broad program. what i would like to ask is, we have saved lives with this. the 215 program has saved lives. good. that is what we want our government to do. could we have saved the same amount of lives if, knowing my phone number, as a suspect, you could search my records as opposed to everyone's records in my area code. >> i think that is a great question. what we knew only made this query was that we had a reasonable suspicion that this was affiliated with a terrorist plotting against the homeland.
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this was associated with al shabab. we need to do query. we do not know what area code it would be. we do not know the set of possibilities. in order to find the needle, we needed the haystack. before we made that clear he, -- the query, we can now. -- we did not know. >> this operative, you can go after this person and his telephone records. the question we are faced with
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is, you need five years worth of data on everyone in america so that the haystack -- >> that is a fair question. in the future, it may well be that the plot occurred in the past. if you do not have the past records you cannot determine -- >> that is -- >> that is a fair point and it is possible. >> i agree. >> under the current legal framing -- >> how hard would it be? i do not think it would -- i do not think it would be hard. >> senator feinstein said to ask him about the expense. >> within classified session, i can give you chapter and verse about the expense.
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the expenses are different. the government requires the providers to retain the records to share the expense. >> thank you. i understand the nsa's collection of metadata -- the kind of metadata that we have discussed today -- is accomplished under 215 of the patriot act. section 215 faces an important limitation on the collection in that it limits the government's ability to collect the metadata. it has to be relevant to an authorized investigation. at some point, relevance is a concept that is difficult to define in the abstract. it is a fluid concept. it is something that a jurist might say, i know when i see it.
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they struggle to define it. even though it may be difficult to define, in the abstract, what relevance is, haven't we left the station of relevance before we get to the point of collecting metadata for 300 million americans? how can you get your mind around that concept of all that information being relevant to an ongoing investigation? >> senator, it had been noted how broad the concept of relevance is in civil discovery and many different legal contexts. it can be things that can lead you to things that you need. >> right.
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i understand a broad conception of relevance that was explained at the brookings institution. there is no context, and civil discovery or otherwise, where one could justify taking in information about each and every single american who owns a telephone. >> the answer i would give you, senator, is that we are not accessing, or getting into all of the metadata. we do not get to look at it until our heart is content. you have to look at it within the context of the primary order that was declassified today. it says that the only way you
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can access it is it you have a reasonable and articulable belief that this is related to specific terrorist groups. if you do not have that, you cannot get into this. the surveillance concept is important. you cannot surveilled this without that gate being checked through. >> that gate is not controlled by a warrant. if you want to access that, you do not have to go to court, correct? >> that is correct. their control by the court order and compliance audits that are done by the executive branch and
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the court looks at how it is implemented on a periodic basis. >> very briefly, i want to make clear that the standard of relevance that i articulated is not mine. it has been approved by the judge of the fisa court and was known to the members of this committee and intelligence committee at the time that 215 was renewed. >> i understand that. that is part of the problem that we have. until recently, most people did not have any idea about those and we had constraints that limited our ability to explain why we had concerns about the patriot act on both sides of the aisle and we voted against it. we were unable to speak against it because we have secret procedures pursuant to secret law. it has been a bit of a problem. what would you say -- getting back to you -- i understand what you are saying, we are collecting it and we are not
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looking at it. we're closing our eyes. to not wearing about it. what would you say to my constituents would say, i did not want the government having this information. it doesn't meet what is a reasonable expectation of privacy. to collect that much information, the information of 300 million americans. lex i would say two things. we have had 34 different times where the court has said that meets the standard of relevance. further, what we are doing today. it is worth having a debate about whether or not there is a better way to do it. is about having a debate -- it is worth having that debate about where we are finding security for the nation and civil liberties. that's a a tough balance to
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find, it is worth talking about. it is a process we are welcoming. >> thank you. i see my time has expired. i appreciate your insight. i think it is worth discussing publicly. we need to consider this from a constitutional standpoint. we have been relying on a 34- year-old supreme court case, smith versus maryland, to get at this idea that metadata is belong -- beyond the reach of the fourth amendment. involve collection on a single target and on a standard that is our character -- archaic and would involve a mini school amount of information. we collect this much information on this many people, and create some problem. that much data on hundreds of millions of people creates a big problem that was not considered
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the united states and maryland versus smith. >> thank you. senator whitehouse. you have served on this committee and the intelligence committee. >> thank you. one of the -- mr. cole, you have said that it is worth having a debate on these issues. you're right about that. i hope the executive branch take a lesson from this experience about the value of classification or, what i would consider to be overclassification.
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i've seen this over and over. when we are fighting with the bush administration about the torture program, the executive branch got to tell its side of the story because the executive branch was the classifier. we were stuck with fax that we knew him well the argument -- we were stuck with facts that we knew blew up the argument. where becoming more aware -- we are becoming more aware. in the private sector, companies didn't want to talk about it. the government over classified everything. now, i think we have a terrific article that senator feinstein wrote.
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we have good testimony by bob mueller. we have good information out there that helps the american people understand this program. it all came out late. it all came out in response to a leaker. there was no organized clan for how we rationally declassify this. there is an executive branch reaction towards classification. that reaction is, in part, because it did and that it gives to the executive branch over the legislative branch. looking back, we are worse off for that effort in the first instance. i would urge you to take a look at this. there is this old saying of, i'm not going to get exactly right,
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but, the rumor is across town before the truth can get its boots on. you have lived that experience. i hope that this is had an effect on you because it is a recurring problem. i ask unanim
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address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> i rise today to pay tribute to a former member of the house and a grand lady from louisiana, ms. lindy boggs. they was a pioneer and trail blazer for the state of louisiana. she served louisiana's second congressional district following the death of her husband, h lambings e boggs. she was the first woman to represent the state of louisiana in congress and founder of the congresswoman's caucus. mr. scalise: in tribute to her service as a pioneer for women, the congressional women's reading room is rightfully named in her honor down the
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hall. she was the first woman and only louisiana ambassador to the holy see in the tenure of pope john paul ii. lindy effortlessly balanced her role as a respected leader and loving mother. she loved her city of new orleans, in fact, lived on bourbon street for many of her later years in new orleans. she loved her beloved tulane university and in fact, just recently, she and her daughter cokie participated in a benefit for tulane university in new orleans. she's somebody who will be dearly missed and somebody who we are honored to have, to be able to call a former colleague of ours here in the house. with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> i would also like to join my colleague from louisiana, representative scalise, and
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leader pelosi in recognizing such a great and remarkable woman. it is with a heavy heart that i rise to recognize the loss of a true legend in louisiana, ambassador and former representative lindy boggs. she was a perfect example of leadership, never afraid to fight for justice and demand equality. she took the responsibility of service seriously, addressing the plight of everyday people in the state of louisiana and our nation --st better for it. she was an effective legislator. she loved this body, earning the respect of her colleagues on both sides of the aisle, which is an example here today with congressman scalise and i. mr. richmond:s of it was this year in women's history month we were able to recognize former ambassador boggs on her 90th -- 97th birthday. with that, i would ask that we take a moment of silence unless
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the leader is going to speak and recognize the great contribution and sacrifice of a true remarkable louisiana sint who i think displays what's best of the best in louisiana system of mr. speaker, with that, i ask for a brief moment of silence. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? ms. pelosi: i would like to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. pelosi: i thank the gentlemen for their kind words they said about congresswoman lindy boggs. i associate myself with their remarks and i say that bipartisanship is how she led in this body. discussions ated on the floor, she would call us back and say, darling, hale
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always said don't fight each fight as if it's your last. no wonder a room is name for her, a room that's shared a bipartisan enjoyment and participation, where we've come together as democrats and republicans to bring about solutions. mr. -- it was referenced that we had a bipartisan tribute to her on her birthday, march 13, and i think you would find some joy in the fact that as a devout catholic, that was her birthday, that was when we plan to have had the tribute, that was the day white smoke went up in the chimney and rome so for r birthday we could also celebrate a new pope, pope francis, and what better gift for her than to enjoy that on her birthday. some of us will be in new orleans for her service tomorrow, all of us, and -- all of us send our mourning and prayers to their family, i hope it's a comfort to them that so
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%any people loved lindy boggs
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] this will all impact your question, and the answer to your question. >> admiral, do you want to add anything? >> so i would say, david, that,
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first of all, the options as presented, you know, it's not all capability or all apacity. somewhere, if we have to go that way, full bca cuts, it's going to be something in the middle, and we know that. the real question is if either of those scenarios gets us into what was described as break. so what is break? break is not you can't do anything in the strategy. it means there are certain things that are in this strategy that we're going to have a really hard time doing, may not be able to do, or we'll have to do it at extremely high risk. and because what we were doing here is teeing up choices, we haven't made those choices yet. we now understand them very, very well. the secretary understands them. and when we finally get an answer on what -- what the financial outlook is going to look like, we will then begin to make those choices. and that would determine which parts of the strategy would suffer the most. i hope that helps. >> why would it be a huge strategic miscalculation, if you if you're not sure of what the impact would be? >> we're going to have to assess that as those decisions come into focus, and we're going to have to consult, of course, with the president on his take on what the potential answers are going to be. >> mr. hagel. >> time for one more. >> ok.
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dave? >> you've mentioned a number of reforms that -- that congress has strongly opposed, brac, tricare, compensation reform. how are you going to convince them to go along with those changes? and will the cutbacks in the -- in the headquarters, the efficiencies that you've gotten there, will that help? >> well, i don't know what will help, but i would answer your question this way. i noted, as i opened my comments today, i spent an hour-and-a-half this morning with the ranking members and chairmen of the house and senate armed services committee and appropriations committees. and we went through in some detail, in a pretty significant briefing, to them and their senior staff, something similar to what i've just given you narratively. but we went through the graphs and the numbers and so on. we have been keeping the hill
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tuned into this as we go along for obvious reasons, so as much as we had, we could give them, and as best organized as we were able to organize it, rather than just throwing things out, because they are going to have o be partners. they're always partners. and they need to understand -- it doesn't mean they agree -- but to answer your question, we're going to need their help nd i told them that today -- because if we are not allowed, any maneuverability in some of these tough choices that we're all going to have to make, then we're going to have to be forced to go into, for example, investment accounts, go into areas where you're going to have to essentially rob accounts for the future. we're starting from a hole now in readiness. as we go into 2014 -- and the
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admiral can speak clearly about this -- and so we're in a hole right now as we go into 2014, because we have had to go to accounts -- you heard some of the things that we talked about for example, no training, no flying, ships aren't sailing. well, that cuts right into readiness, and you can't buy back that readiness. and so we're going to have to find some of these other cuts in some tough areas, and we're going to need some room here and some management room, maneuverability to make some tough cuts with the congress on his. and i don't speak for the congress. i never did. but we're going to have to hopefully be able to give them as much as we can give them to help all of us understand what we're facing here. and i always believe the education and information is critical to any decision-making process.
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and i know there's politics in all this. i get all that. we understand those realities. no one likes to lose anything. we get all that. but what we're trying to project here is not crying wolf or not trying to overstate or overhype and in every word i said here and everything that our people have been talking about, every time they talk to the press, i ave said, said it again this afternoon, don't put a word anywhere that's exaggerated. i don't want any of us to have to come back and say, "well, but you overstated that, mr. secretary." i don't want you to understate it, but everything we say has to be factual. now, you'll draw your own conclusions. but this is what we owe to the congress, and this is a partnership, and it's why i close my comments, is the responsibility we have to them, to the president. the president's got to know what he's got and what he doesn't have. it's in all of our interests, regardless of if you're a democrat or republican.
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it's the responsibility of the congress here, too. we all have some responsibilities. so i'm -- i have some confidence that we're going to be able to work with the congress on his. >> thank you, everyone. appreciate it. >> one more question? >> go ahead. >> this is a very small army that you lay out here, 380,000. are there examples of things that the u.s. has historically done, operation desert storm, operation iraqi freedom, that we could not do on this historically small active-duty army? >> well, first, let me just re-emphasize, so that there's no misunderstanding about this, is that we're not proposing a 380,000 army. we're not advocating that. but in the interest of being honest with you, as you educate and inform the american public and educate yourselves and leaders of this country, elected leaders, they've got to know the ranges, they've got to know the imensions of this.
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so in answer to your question, not to keep going back to the same answer we give for almost everything, but i can't give you much more of an answer on this until we get down into exactly what we talked about earlier, inventorying the strategic interests, how do we fulfill those strategic interests, how can we do this, all the different scenarios that are out there? and again, we've made no choices. we're not making any recommendations on any of this. this is an honest range of what the review has produced from one end to the other on what we're going to be looking at here. >> thank you, everyone. > thank you. >> real smart people are coming out here. not that the admiral is not. [laughter]
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on the next "washington journal, representative scott garrett about the congressional agenda. representative alan grayson and he n.s.a.. "washington journal" begins live at 7:00 eastern on c-span. >> there should just be a flow of communications available to everyone in the country. it is just like electricity. we turn on lights we don't even think about. it is just an input into everything we do as a country. communication should be the sape thing. because we have been a little bit confused, there is a lot of fog around this issue.
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what is having the that electricity was treated as a luxury too, in the early 20th century. people said water is something everybody needs but electricity is only for the rich. we're in this middle point right now where internet access is still viewed as something slightly magical or expensive, but talk to someone who is trying to run a business from his home for him, internet access is just like breathing. he can't even get going without having that reasonably priced connection. now there is no option for it. there is very little choice. >> how america's future is being controlled by keans controlling access to the internet. susan crawford, part of book tv his weekend on c-span 2. >> the obama administration released new documents on wednesday on nsa surveillance programs shortly before a senate
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judiciary hearing on the topic. officials from the fbi, nsa, and justice department testified about the use of the foreign intelligence surveillance act to gather information on u.s. citizens. this part of the hearing is under two hours. >> good morning. today the judiciary committee will scrutinize government surveillance programs conducted on the foreign intelligence surveillance act or if i aid. --fisa. in the years since september 11, congress has repeatedly expanded the scope of fisa and has given the government sweeping new powers to collect information on law-abiding americans.
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we must consider whether those laws have gone too far. americans have learned that one of these authorities, section 215 of the usa patriot act has been secretly interpreted to authorize the collection of phone records on an unprecedented scale. information was leaked about section 702 of fisa, which authorizes the collection of to -- communications of foreigners overseas. first, i made it very clear, i do not condone the way these and other highly classified programs are disclosed. i am concerned about the potential damage of intelligence gathering capabilities and national security. it is appropriate to hold people accountable for allowing such a massive leak to occur.
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we need to examine how to prevent this type of breach in the future. in the wake of these leaks, the president said this is an opportunity to have an open and thoughtful debate about these issues. i will come that statement because this is a debate that several of us on this committee and both parties have been trying to have for years. i will get the classified briefings but you cannot talk about them. a lot of these things that hould be and can be discussed. if we're going to have the debate that the president called for and the executive branch has been a full partner. we need straightforward answers. i am concerned we are not getting them. just recently the director of ational intelligence cknowledged he provided false testimony about the nsa surveillance program during a senate hearing in march. his office had removed a fact sheet after concerns were raised. i appreciate it is difficult talking about programs in public settings. the american people expect and
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deserve honest answers. it often is difficult to get a straight answer about the effectiveness of the phone records program. whether this is a critical national security tool is a key question for congress as we consider possible changes to the law. some supporters of this program have repeatedly complained that the fficacy of the section 215 data collection program. i do not think that is coincidence when we have people in government make that comparison. it needs to stop. i think the patience of the american people is beginning to wear thin. what has to be of more concern in a democracy is the trust of the american people is wearing thin. i asked general alexander and i understand he cannot be here today he is at a convention in las vegas, i asked general
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alexander about the effectiveness of the phone records program. appropriations hearing last month, he agreed to provide a classified list of terrorist events that section 215 help to prevent and i have reviewed that list. although i agree this speaks to the content collection it does not do the same for section 215. it simply of section 215 -- 215 help to prevent. let alone 54 has -- as some have projected. these facts matter. the small collections program has massive privacy implications. the phone records of all of us in this room reside in an nsa database. i have said repeatedly just because we have the ability to collect huge amounts of data does not mean that we should be doing so.
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the collection of internet meta-data was shut down because it failed to produce meaningful intelligence. we need to take a close look at the phone records program. this program is not effective. it has to end. i am not convinced by what i have seen. i am sure we will hear from witnesses who say this -- these programs are critical. there is always going to be dots to collect and analyze and try to connect. the government is collecting data on millions of innocent americans on a daily basis. based on a secret legal interpretation of the statute that does not appear to authorize this kind of collection. so what is going to be next? when is enough enough? i think congress has to carefully consider the powerful surveillance tools that we grant the government and ensure that there is stringent oversight and accountability and transparency. this data should not be limited
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to those surveillance programs about which information was leaked. that is why i have introduced a bill that addresses not only section 215 and section 702, also national security letters, roving wiretaps, other authorities on the patriot act. privacy is not a partisan issue. i think senator leahy and others for their support. i hope others will join that effort. we are grateful for the participation of the current member of the judiciary and former judge of the fisa court. that led us to this position. and i will yield first to
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senator grassley and we will call on the first panel. ames cole. we will put the statement in the record. it did not arrive in time to be given. he will answer questions. senator grassley. >> mr. chairman, i think you for -- thank you for holding this hearing and i think it is important that congress do its oversight work which this hearing is part of, but it is ven more important, the more secretive program is, the more oversight that congress has, and as you have said, probably more about this program could be told to the public and the more that could be told, maybe more understanding and less questioning on the part of the public. the foreign intelligence surveillance act provides the statutory framework for electronic surveillance in the
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context of foreign intelligence data during. investigating threats to our national security gives rise to a tension between the protection of citizen privacy rights and the government's legitimate national security interest. congress through this legislation has sought and i hope successfully to strike a balance in this sensitive area. but whether it is the right balance is one of the reasons we are having this hearing. the reports in the media have raised important questions regarding exactly what information about american citizens is being collected by the government, whether the programs are being conducted as congress intended, and whether there are sufficient safeguards to ensure that they cannot be abused by this or any future dministration.
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in short, the reports have raised questions about whether the proper balance has been struck. we need to look no further than the recent irs scandal to see what can happen when an unchecked executive branch bureaucracy with immense power targets political opponents. these actions trampled many citizens most basic rights to fully participate in our democratic process. this kind of abuse cannot be permitted to occur in our national security agency's -- agencies as well and maybe even more importantly, oversight i an congress will play important role as we play an important role as we evaluate the wisdom of the intelligence programs create congress needs accurate information to conduct oversight responsibilities that the constitution demands that we do under our checks and balances of government. that is why it was especially disturbing to see that the
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director of national intelligence was forced to apologize for inaccurate statements he made last march he -- before the senate ntelligence committee. the statement concerns one of the important programs will be hearing about. this very day. nothing can excuse this kind of behavior from a senior administration official of any dministration. we have a constitutional duty to protect citizen privacy. that's given. we also have an equal responsibility to ensure that the government provides a strong national defense. that is a given. intelligence gathering is necessary and a vital part of that defense. we have a duty to ensure that the men and women of -- of our military, intelligence, and counterterrorism committees have the tools that they need to get he job done.
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i understand officials contend the programs authorized under fisa are critical tools and have assisted them in disrupting attacks here and abroad. to the extent possible in this unclassified setting, i look forward to hearing how these programs have made our nation safer. i want to emphasize that this is an equally important part of the balance that we have to trike. and as we consider whether reform of these intelligence or grams is necessary or desirable, we must also make sure we do not overreact and repeat the mistakes of the past. we know that before 9/11, there was a wall erected under the clinton administration between intelligence gathering and law enforcement. that wall contribute to our failure to be able to connect the dots and prevent 9/11. none of the reforms that we
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consider should effectively revealed that wall. additionally while the intelligence and the law enforcement communities need to share information in a lawful way, any reform we consider should not confuse the differences between these ontexts. for example, no reform should be based on a misguided legal theory that foreign terrorists are entitled to the same constitutional rights that mericans expect in home. increased transparency is a worthy goal in general. as i suggested before whenever we can talk about these programs, i think there is less questions out there in the minds of people and we probably created some public relations problems for us and for this for this program and our national security community because maybe we have not made enough information available. i say that understanding that we
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cannot tell our enemies what tools we use. but if we consider any reform that may bring more transparency o the process we should keep in mindpiece of information will be read by a determined adversary that every and that adversary is -- has demonstrated the capacity to kill thousands of americans even on our own soil. i welcome the panel of witnesses and i look forward to engaging witnesses as we seek to strike the difficult and sensitive balance between privacy and ecurity. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. our first witness is james cole. he served for 13 years and the criminal division. chief ecoming the deputy of the integrity section. mr. cole is no stranger to this committee. please go ahead.
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>> thank you. thank you for inviting us here o speak about the 215 business records program and section 702. we are constantly seeking to achieve the right balance between the protection of national security and privacy and civil liberties. we believe these programs have chieved the right balance. first of all, both programs are conducted under public statutes, past my and later reauthorized by congress. neither is a program that has been hidden away or off the books. all three branches of government play a significant role in the oversight of these programs. the judiciary through the foreign intelligence surveillance court plays a role in authorizing the programs and overseeing compliance. the executive branch conducts extensive internal reviews to ensure compliance and congress
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passes the laws, oversees our implementation of the laws, and determines whether or not the current laws should be reauthorized and in what form. let me explain how this has worked in the context of the 215 program. the program involves the collection of metadata from telephone calls. these are records maintained by the phone companies. they include the number the call was dialed from: the number the call was dialed to, the date and time of the call, and the length of the call. the records do not include the names or other personal identifying information. they do not include cell site or other location information and they do not include the content of any phone calls. these are the kinds of records that under long-standing supreme court precedents are not protected by the fourth amendment. the short court order you have seen published in the newspapers only allows the government to acquire the phone records. it does not allow the government
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to access or use them. the terms under which the government may access or use the records is covered by another, more detailed court order that the ni released today. it has to have suspicion that the phone number thing searched is associated with certain terrorist organizations. the order imposes restrictions on nsa to ensure that only properly trained analysts may access the data and they can only access it when there is easonable suspicion. the documentation of the justification is important so that it can be reviewed by supervisors before the search and audited afterwards to ensure compliance. in the criminal context, the government could obtain the same types of records with a grand jury subpoena without going to
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the court. here we go to the court every 90 days to seek the authorization to collect the records. in fact, since 2006, the court has authorized a program on 34 separate occasions involving 14 ifferent judges. as part of that renewal trusses, we informed the court whether there have been compliance problems and if there have been, the core will take a hard look and make sure we have corrected those problems. as we have explained before, the 11 judges on the court are far from a rubber stamp. instead they review all of our pleadings thoroughly and question us and the different approve an order until they are satisfied that we have met all statutory and constitutional equirements. in addition, congress also plays a significant role in this program. the classified details of this program have been extensively
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briefed to intelligence committees and their staffs on numerous occasions. if there are any significant issues that arise with the 215 programs, we would report those to the committees right away. any significant interpretations by the fisa court would likewise be reported to the committee under a statutory obligation including opinions of any significant interpretation along with any of the court rders that go with them. in addition, congress plays a role in reauthorizing the provision under which the government carries out this program and has done so since 2006. section 215 of the patriot act has been renewed times since the program was initiated, including most recently for an additional four years in 2011. in connection with those recent renewals, the government provided a classified briefing paper to the house and senate intelligence committees to be made available to all members of congress. the briefing paper and the second updated version of it set out the operation of the programs in detail, explain the government and the court had
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interpreted the section to authorize collection of metadata and stated the government was collecting such information. the d.n.i. also declassified and released those papers today. we also made offers to brief any member on the 215 program and the availability of the paper and the opportunity for oral briefings were communicated through letters issued to all members of congress. although we could not talk publicly about the program, members of congress were informed about the programs when they renewed it. i understand there have been recent proposals to amend section 215 to limit bulk collection of telephone metadata. as the president has said, we welcome the public debate about how to best safeguard security in the privacy of our itizens.
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indeed, we will be considering in the coming days and weeks further steps to declassify information and help facilitate that debate just as we have done this morning and releasing the primary order and the congressional briefing papers. in the meantime, however, we look forward to working with the congress to determine a careful and deliberate way the tools that can best be structured and secure to secure the nation and at the same time, protect our privacy and civil liberties. > think we can -- i think we can -- the administration did declassify this order. it does not contain any real nalysis or discussion of 215 elements so that will be part of our questions erie it i want to ask -- part of our questions. before we go into the legality
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and usefulness of this, we had a huge security breach committed by edward snowden. it appears bradley manning downloaded thousands of classified documents and passed hem on to wikileaks. if two data breaches of this magnitude occurred in the private sector, somebody would have been held accountable by now. there is a lot of data kept in the private sector, trade secrets and so on. if they allow this kind of leak to go on in most companies, somebody would be held accountable. who at the n.s.a. is taking responsibility for allowing this incredibly damaging security breach to occur? >> accountability must he considered at least at two levels. at the individual levels but we have to take a hard look to see whether individuals exercised their responsibilities appropriately. whether they exercised due diligence.
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>> obviously there was not. if a 29-year-old school dropout can come in and take out massive amounts of data, it is obvious that there were not adequate controls. has anybody been fired? >> not yet. >> has anybody been admonished? >> not until the investigations are under way. when they are complete we will have a full accounting to the executive branch. we will have to look to see whether people exercised the responsibilities appropriately. we extend top-secret sci credentials to many people. we will make a full accounting of that.
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>> president reagan made up a statement which has been used, trust but verify. you have to have a considerable amount of trust but don't you have people doubled checking what somebody is doing? >> we do, sir. >> who double checked mr. snowden? >> there are checks at multiple levels, in terms of what an individual might be doing. >> you obviously failed. >> in this case we can say they failed but we do not yet know where. >> he is sitting at the airport in russia with millions of items. >> i would say with the benefit f what we know, they did fail. in the exercise of individual responsibility or the design of the system in the first place. >> has anyone offered to resign? >> no one has offered to resign. yern is working hard to understand what happened.
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>> how do we know who screwed up? >> i think we'll know over weeks and months precisely what happened and who should be held accountable and they will be held accountable. >> are you taking steps to ensure such as group does not happen again? rex we have instituted a range of items to catch someone who might want to repeat what mr. snowden did. but we also have to be creative and thoughtful enough to understand there are many other ways that someone might try to beat the system. >> you can understand why some people have used the old expression, locking the door after the horse has been stolen. >> i can, sir. >> i appreciate your candor. i realize general alexander is in las vegas but i will ask you this question. last month he promised to provide me with specific examples of terrorism cases where section 215 phone records collection has been used.
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i was led to believe by his answer that there were dozens of cases where the 215 has been critical to discovering the disruption of terrorist plots. i have now reviewed all of the classified material that the nsa ent. section 215 help to thwart or prevent 54 terrorist plots. not by any stretch can you get 54 terrorist plots. how many cases th section 215, both phone records, was critical to preventing a terrorist plot? >> the administration has disclosed there were 54 plots that were disrupted over the
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life of these two programs. >> section 215 was critical to preventing -- >> no, sir. of those plots, 13 of those had a homeland nexus. others had essentially plots that would have come to fruition. other places around the world, europe, asia. >> how many of those 13 are plots that would harm americans? >> 12 had a homeland nexus. the question you asked is more precise in the sense of, is there a but for case to be made? but for 215, those plots would have been disrupted. that is a difficult question to answer. that is not necessarily how these programs work. that's actually not how these programs work. what happens is that you essentially have a range of tools at your disposal. one or more of these tools might tip you to apply. others might give you an exposure as to what the nature of that plot is and the exercise
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of multiple instruments of power to include law-enforcement power ultimately completes the picture and allows you to interdict that plot. there is an example amongst those 13 that comes close to a but for example and that is the case of the sally >> i have read that case. t is safe to say the target 54 but fors. >> this capability, the 215 collection of metadata is focused on the homeland, on detecting lots across the home -- plots across the homeland domain. it made a contribution to a plot that was disrupted overseas. that shows that this actually is looking not simply at the homeland but looking at the oreign homeland nexus. >> i hope we are not mixing up
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215 with other sections. >> we tried hard not to do that. they are distinguished but complementary tools. insight ght add some to 215? >> my time is up. go ahead. >> i wanted to add, as you mentioned before, how many do we need and we need to frame this by understanding who the adversary is and what they're trying to do. they're trying to harm america. they're trying to strike america. what we need is we need all these tools. you mentioned the value of 702 versus 215. they are different. i make the analogy like a baseball team. you have your most valuable player but you have the players that hit singles every day. i just want to relate to the homeland plot. he plot to bomb the new york
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subway station, record 215 played a role. it identified a number we did not previously know. >> was it a critical role? >> there was some undercover work. >> yes, there was some undercover work. >> what i'm saying is each tool plays a different role, plch. i'm not saying that it is the most -- >> we were not aware that -- of that specific telephone number which nsa provided us. we did ly reason i -- everything. for example, if we could have ore security and every building america. we could close borders completely to everybody. we are not going to do that. we could put a wiretap on everybody's cell phone in america, if we search everybody's home. there are certain things,
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certain areas of our own privacy that we americans expect. at some point, you have to know here the balance is. >> we have had the testimony now. we ask questions of all the people. >> we were going to have questions of mr. cole. >> ok. thank you. >> i will start at with mr. cole. my questions are emphasizing two and to even be repetitive. i think the public needs a greater understanding of what we're up to here. there are two legal authorities that we're discussing here. one, section 702, i will lay that aside. the other authority of section
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215. many americans are concerned about the scope there. they fear that the government is spying on them and prying into their personal lives. i asked questions to make absolutely sure that i understand the scope of 215. first question, what information does the government collect under this program, and specifically, is anyone's name, address, social security number, or location collected? >> name, address, location, social security number is not collected under the 215 program at all. never has been, never will be. secondly, the nature of the ollection is very dependent on this reasonable articulate suspicion. unless there is reasonable suspicion that the phone number
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you want to ask about is associated with terrorists. nless you get that step made you cannot enter that database and make a query and access any of that data. >> for emphasis, is the government listening in on any american phone calls through this program and let me say that i just heard within the last week on some news media that somebody is declaring that any bureaucrat someplace in some intelligence agency can pick up the phone and listen to the conversation. >> nobody is listening to anybody's conversations through this program and through program, nobody could. no information like that is being collected through this program. >> section 215 contains a requirement that records collected under the program, provision be ranelevant to an
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authorized investigation. how can you justify the assertion that phone records of millions of americans who have nothing to do with terrorism are relevant to an authorized investigation under section 215? >> i began by noting that a number of judges repeatedly over the years have found that these records are in fact, relevant. the reason is the standard of relevance we are talking about here is not the kind of relevance you think about in the perry mason sense in a criminal trial. it is a much broader standard of relevance and in a number of circumstances such as civil discovery, it is a well accepted concept that if you need to get a large group of records in order to find a smaller group of records that actually provides the information you need to move forward, that the larger group of records can be relevant. that is true in this case because of the kinds of controls that the deputy attorney general mentioned.
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the fact that the queries are limited, the access to the data is limited, and the fisa court has repeatedly found these records are relevant. >> is there any precedent that supports a definition of relevance to the investigation >> i would defer that to the deputy general. >> ok. >> the legal precedent comes from the history of the orders that have been issued. the court having looked at this under the fisa law and under the provisions of 215 and making sure under the provisions in the ability to get these records relevant to a foreign intelligence investigation, they have gone through the law that mr. litt has described. on 34 different occasions to do this analysis. that legal precedent is there. >> mr. joyce, one part of the
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balance that we have to strike, protecting diversey of americans. the other part, national ecurity. thankfully, until the boston bombing we had prevented large-scale terrorist attacks on american soil. i have a few questions about the -- how valuable the role of the programs that protected our national security. two questions and then i'll have to stop and go to our colleagues. can you describe any specific situations where section 215 and section 702 authorities helped disrupt a terrorist attack or identify individuals planning to attack, the number of times, and secondly, if you did not have the authority to collect phone records in bulk, the way that they are now under section 215, how would you have affected those investigations? >> the first question as far as a specific example of when we
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have utilized these programs is when i first mentioned, the first al qaeda directed plot since 9/11 in september of 2009 when there was a conspiracy to plant the bomb in the new york subway system. we found out about azazi through an nsa 702 coverage. he was talking to an al qaeda ourier and asking for his help to perfect an explosives recipe. but for that we would not have known about the plot. we followed that up with legal process and had fisa coverage on him and others as we fully investigated the plot. 215 was also involved as a previously mentioned where we also, through legal process, were submitting legal process for telephone numbers and other e-mail addresses and other selectors but nsa also provided
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another number we are unaware of as a co-conspirator. that is an instance where a serious plot to attack america on u.s. soil that we used both these programs. what i say as the chairman mentioned, there is a difference in the utility of the programs. what i say to you is that each and every programming tool is valuable. there were gaps prior to 9/11. what we have collectively try to do, the members of the committee, other members of the other oversight committees, the executive branch, and the intelligence community, is we have tried to close those gaps and close those seams. the business record 215 is one of those programs that we have closed those seams. the utility of that specific program initially is not as valuable. you were right. what i say is it plays a crucial
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role in closing the gaps and seams that we fought hard to gain after the 9/11 attacks. when we used the business record 215 program, as the chairman mentioned, initially, the fbi opened a case in 2003 based on a tip. we investigated the tip. terrorism nexus of and closed the case. in 2007, the nsa advised us through the is this record to 15 program -- the business record to 15 program that -- 215 that there was contact in somalia. served legal process to identify that unidentified phone number. he and three other individuals have been convicted and some played guilty to material upport to terrorism.
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-- pled guilty to material support to terrorism. i go back to, we need to rub her -- remember what happened in eptember 2011. >> mr. joyce, you're saying the obvious there. >> you mentioned about the dots. we must have the dots to connect the dots. >> thank you. one of the advantages of this committee, members on both sides of the aisle bring a lot of ifferent abilities and various areas of expertise. the next witness is the chair of the senate intelligence committee. the next questioner. the chair of the senate
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intelligence committee, senator feinstein. >> thank you very much. i would like to begin by putting a couple of letters in the record. they have been declassified. the first is a letter to myself and senator tim chambliss. on february 2, 2011, before this program came up before the senate, explaining it, making the information available. the second is that same letter to the house. we have before 2010 and 2011. >> with no objection, that will be made part of the record. >> thank you. would also like to -- i guess realize that i believe mr. inglis's statement makes obligor fact and it is an important fact. and it's an important fact. it is on page four of his letter
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and what he points out, mr. cole describes that the query can only be done on reasonable suspicion and only 22 people have access to that, trained and nd vetted analysts at the nsa. if the numbers are run and it looks like there is a problem, the report is made to the fbi. the fbi looks at it and if they want to collect content, they must get a probable cause warrant from the foreign intelligence surveillance court. let me quote. in 2012, based on those fewer han 300 selectors, that is queries, we provided a total of 12 reports to the fbi, which altogether tipped less than 500
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numbers. what you're saying if i understand it is that maximum, there were 12 probable cause warrant. is that correct? >> any one of the numbers that were tipped could have led the fbi to develop probable cause on more than 12 but there are only 12 reports provided to the fbi across 2012 and they were less than 500 numbers in those reports collectively that were tipped to the fbi in 2012. >> let me ask mr. joyce this question. can you tell us how many probable cause warrants were issued by the fbi in 012? >> i can't off the top of my head, senator. i can get you those numbers, though, following the hearing. >> i think we appreciate that. >> i would add you make a very good point. whether it is the 702 program or
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the business record, the 215. once that information is passed to us involving anyone in the united states, we must go to the foreign intelligence surveillance court and show probable cause on the fisc warrant basically to provide content for that specific individual. >> good. ow the nsa has produced and declassified a chart. i would like to make it available to all members. it has the 54 total events. it includes section 702 authority and section 215 authority. which essentially work together. t shows the events disrupted a -- based on a combination of these two programs. 13 in the homeland. 25 in europe. five in africa, and 11 in asia.
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now, i remember, i was on the intelligence committee before /11. and i remember how little information we had. and the great criticism of the government because of these stovepipes, the inability to share intelligence, the inability to collect intelligence, we had no row -- program that could have possibly caught two people in san diego before the event took place. i support this program. i think, based on what i know, they will come after us and i think we need to prevent an attack wherever we can from happening. that does not mean that we cannot make some changes. yesterday, the intelligence committee, i outlined some changes that we might consider as part of our authorization bill. let me quickly run through them. the number of american phone numbers submitted as queries on
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a regular basis annually from the database, the number of referrals made to the f.b.i. each year, based on those queries, and how many times the fbi obtains probable cause warrants to collect the content of a call which we now know is very few times, relatively. the number of times that a company, this is at their request from the high-tech companies, that any company is required to provide data pursuant to fisa's business records provision. as you know, the companies that provide information or seeking to be able to speak more publicly about this. i think we should. there are some changes we can make to the business record section. we are looking at reducing the five-year retention period down to two or three years. it is my understanding that the
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usefulness of it tails off as the years go on. we have to determine that point and then consider it. requiring the nsa to send to the fisa court for its review the records of each query of the database as soon as it is practical so the court can determine the propriety of the query under the law. these are things that can be done to increase transparency, but not to stop the program. i believe, based on what i have seen and i read intelligence regularly, that we would place this nation in jeopardy if we eliminated these two programs. thank you, mr. chairman. >> may i offer a brief response to that? >> just a moment. ould you also include -- reporting huvene nsa or anybody
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else goes into the individual's browsing history or e-mail or social history? >> sure. and we could do that in the rivate sector too. >> i wanted to say that i think the administration is more or less in the same place that senator feinstein is. we are open to reevaluating this program in ways that can perhaps provide greater confidence and public trust that this is a program that achieves privacy protection and national security. in fact, the white house -- has directed the director of national intelligence to make recommendations in that area. we will be looking forward to working with you to see if there are changes that are made that are consistent with preserving the essence of the program and yet provide greater public confidence. >> thank you.
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enator cornyn. he is the deputy republican leader and we appreciate the amount of time he spent in this committee. >> thank you for having this hearing and thanks to each of the witnesses or your service to our country. those of us who have been here for a little while and through the evolution of these programs have learned more than the public generally knows about how they operate, and i think that has helped give us confidence in what is occurring, but i am also sensitive to senator feinstein, some of her observations. that tooitt reiterated about the importance of maintaining public confidence in classified programs which is a tough thing to do.
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but i have also been reminded of the fact that since 2007, we have 43 new members of the united states senate, and so there have been some people who have come to the senate in recent years who perhaps have not been able to observe through their regular work some of the development of these programs and so i think the hearing ike this, the other hearing should have participated in that i have attended have been very important to giving everyone a foundation of information where they can have confidence on behalf of the people we represent. but i would like to ask maybe starting with mr. cole and going down the line to get your reaction to the criticism made of the operations of the foreign intelligence surveillance court made by former judge -- james robertson. this has to do with the nature of ex parte proceedings before the court. i know that when it comes to
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individualized warrants, it is common in our system to have essentially ex parte proceedings but here, when the foreign intelligence surveillance court is authorizing a program, it is, according to judge robertson, under this expanded jurisdiction, it is turning the court into an administrative agency. and of course, talking again about public confidence which is an important part of maintain that confidence, whether you think there might be some advantage, as senator bill mccaul and i have discussed formally, having more of an adversarial process. i trust your experience with the adversarial process in our courts usually produces more information that allows the judge to make it better decision.